Wow. I'm going to be a dad this month.
I'm not going to lie; my heart sinks into the pit of my stomach as I sit here thinking about it.
For the past few months, it seems that every waking hour outside of work has been spent planning and preparing for this baby.
I've assembled cribs, bassinets and strollers. I've installed car seats and video monitors. I've read more assembly instructions than anyone should have to in a lifetime.
My hands have fallen victim to countless plastic packages that were locked up tighter than a clam with lockjaw.
Remember "A Christmas Story"? One of Ralphie's many memorable quotes includes "In the heat of battle my father wove a tapestry of obscenities that as far as we know is still hanging in space over Lake Michigan." Another was "(My old man) worked in profanity the way other artists might work in oil or clay."
I can now relate.
Through all the planning and preparation, though, the one thing that was easy to forget was that it was all for an actual baby. As crazy as it sounds, there are times when I have to remind myself that a living person will soon be here to use that stuff.
In fact, it's very likely that by the time you read this, the baby will be here.
There goes that stomach flip again. It seems I can't even write it without feeling the pangs of anticipation and nerves.
When I get home from work and start to get settled for the night, I often wander into the nursery and take a look into the crib. I try to picture what it's going to look like with my baby in there.
Is it a boy or a girl? Who will it look like? Will the poor thing get Daddy's red hair?
So many questions and no answers. Yet. But that's the exciting part, right?
I suppose there are a lot of thrilling things to come. To be honest, parenthood isn't something I was absolutely sure I was going to experience in life, up until about nine months ago of course.
I can't fully comprehend what life has in store for me when this baby arrives, but I know that I'm ready. As ready as I'll ever be.
I'm tired of staring at an empty crib.
Beardsley, a native of Loyalsock Township, is a former Sun-Gazette reporter. His column is published on the third Sunday of each month. He may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.